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brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. our journey is not complete until all our children from the streets of detroit to the hills of appalachia to the lands of newtown know that they are cared for and cherished. and always safe from harm. progress does not compel us to settle centuries'-long debates about the role of government for all-time, but it does require us to act in our time. with common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. thank you. god bless you. and may he forever bless these united states of america. >> following the president, the music, poetry and pageantry of the day, beginning with kelly clarkson. ♪ let freedom ring >> then poet richard blanco. >> the "i have a dream" we all keep dreaming. >> and beyonce. ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ the brave >> and when it was over, the presi
, republican state legislatures have passed 135 laws restricting access to abortions. sarah weddington argued the landmark case before the supreme court. >> you may proceed whenever you're ready. >> we do not ask this court to rule that abortion is good. >> reporter: sarah weddington today -- >> now, all of the issue is, but will abortion be available? because at the states, there are so many restrictions being passed. >> reporter: congress has forbidden federal funding for most abortions and only 17 states fund abortion for low income women. and modern prenatal imagery gives abortion opponents a new way to make their case. >> before it was a philosophical argument. now they're looking at another human being saying there's two people to think about. >> reporter: an emotional and legal debate that continues to this day. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. >>> big news in the world of education. federal officials say the high school graduation rate is going up. the nationwide average climbed to just above 78% in 2010, the last year with numbers available. there's a lot of work yet to be done
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